A Tiny Florence Flat Is Reborn as an Architect's Live/Work Space

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By Michele Koh Morollo
An architect revamps a 1970s Florence apartment, turning it into her chic, functional home and office.

When architect Silvia Allori found a 452-square-foot flat designed by Italian architect and furniture designer Roberto Monsani, she fell in love with it and immediately snapped it up. Located in the city's Oltrarno district, the property’s small size did not deter Allori from renovating the space into both her home and office.

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In the main living area are built-in platforms with storage spaces and niches that can be filled with padding to create sofas or beds. 

In the main living area are built-in platforms with storage spaces and niches that can be filled with padding to create sofas or beds. 

A Tiny Florence Flat Is Reborn as an Architect's Live/Work Space - Photo 2 of 8 -

Monsani had designed the house with interior walls of white laminate panels. To maximize space, Allori—who was a partner at Italian food-design studio Arabeschi di Latte before establishing her own creative consultancy and interior styling studio in 2014—cleverly integrated furniture and storage into these walls.  

Along one side of the entrance hall is the kitchen that can be concealed with a funky, gold metallic curtain made from an isothermal emergency blanket.

Along one side of the entrance hall is the kitchen that can be concealed with a funky, gold metallic curtain made from an isothermal emergency blanket.

Hidden within walls of white laminate, furniture items fold down so they can be easily stowed away when they aren’t in use, creating a streamlined space that is ideal for work and discussions with clients.

The playful curtain hides the kitchen worktops and appliances, so the corridor is clutter-free. This space works well as a waiting lounge for clients.  

The playful curtain hides the kitchen worktops and appliances, so the corridor is clutter-free. This space works well as a waiting lounge for clients.  

Concealed within the white laminate wall is a foldout table, lights, cabinets and unsightly electrical or plumbing infrastructure. "The cabinets and the table disappear within the laminated niches," explains Allori.

Slim, white, brise soleil-like beams run along the length of the ceiling in the mid-section of the apartment.

Slim, white, brise soleil-like beams run along the length of the ceiling in the mid-section of the apartment.

From the living room wall, a panel folds down to reveal a bookshelf, while also forming a table. 

From the living room wall, a panel folds down to reveal a bookshelf, while also forming a table. 

Pegs slot into holes in the white laminate wall to support shelf units.

Pegs slot into holes in the white laminate wall to support shelf units.

Neon lights are fitted within a series of perforations in the white laminate to break up the rigid geometry of the space.

Neon lights are fitted within a series of perforations in the white laminate to break up the rigid geometry of the space.

Project Credits

-Interior design: Silvia Allori

-Architecture: Roberto Monsani